More Things Theory: On Hoarding, Hoarders, and Hoards

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American Comparative Literature Association, Seattle 2015
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"More Things Theory" continues the dialogue that began at the 2014 ACLA "Things Theory: Accumulation and Amassment" seminar to reflect on recent emergence of a marked cultural interest in hoarding. We will consider the contemporary invention of the hoarder within a broader literary and cultural context that encompasses other figures defined by their attachments to things (collectors, fetishists, misers), and/or by a horror of wasting and/or subsistence on waste (ragpickers, gleaners).

The seminar will also address theoretical questions about the aesthetics of hoarding: What narrative and stylistic features suggest the act of hoarding, and/or the hoard? What temporalities are implicit in or produced by the collection, archive, or hoard, and what are the narrative implications of such temporalities? What aesthetic or ideological work is performed by the representation of a multitude of objects? What ideas about uselessness, waste, ruination, decay, and squalor are at stake in contemporary hoarding discourse? We also welcome are papers that consider hoarding in relation to digital technologies, and reflect on the possibility of digital hoarding.

We welcome new papers from participants in last year's seminar and new submissions.

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